Chef Biography

Susanna Foo was born in Inner Mongolia and spent her early childhood in the Shanxi province of Northern China.  Her father was a General in Chiang Kai-shek’s army, who fought against Mao Tse-tung.  They escaped to Taiwan where Susanna grew up.  In 1967, she came to the US to earn her Masters at the University of Pittsburgh.  In 1979 she moved to Philadelphia to help her husband, E-Hsin, with the family’s restaurant, Hu-Nan. She then learned Hunan-style cooking from her mother-in-law and Chinese Northern-style pasta from her cousin.  She acquired her love for food from her father who indulged in exquisite local lamb and duck dishes, and Imperial-style cuisine.

While at Hu-Nan, she met her mentor, Jacob Rosenthal, co-founder of the Culinary Institute of America.  He taught her French-style cooking and encouraged her to attend the CIA.  By 1987, she and her husband felt ready to strike out on their own, launching Susanna Foo’s Center City restaurant on Walnut Street.  In 1994, Great Chefs taped her there for their Great Chefs – Great Cities series for the Discovery Channel.

In 2006, she opened a second restaurant, Susanna Foo’s Gourmet Kitchen, in the financial district of Radnor, Pennsylvania.  In 2009, after 22 years, she closed down the original restaurant, and in 2015 she closed the Radnor restaurant. As of January 2016, she is preparing to open SuGa by Susanna Foo back in Philadelphia at 1720 Sansom Street. Stay tuned…..


Crab Meat Sui Mei with Red Pepper Sauce

Serving: 2 Print Crab Meat Sui Mei with Red Pepper Sauce By Great Chefs November 23, 2015 This very pretty appetizer is also very, very tasty: plump dumplings are filled with crab meat, shrimp, crunchy water chestnut bits, and seasonings, then served in a pool of red pepper sauce. The dumplings and sauce could be […]

Eight-Treasure Quail with Chinese Sausage and Lotus Seed

Serving: 4 Print Eight-Treasure Quail with Chinese Sausage and Lotus Seed By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 This dish is based on the Chinese tradition of sweet and sour foods, but those flavors are augmented with the five-spice accent of Chinese sausage and the flavors of the portobello mushroom and liqueur. The Chinese sausages, dried […]

Grilled Chinese Eggplant with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serving: 4 Print Grilled Chinese Eggplant with Balsamic Vinaigrette By Great Chefs November 9, 2015 Vodka, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar are some of the surprising ingredients of this East-meets-West appetizer, garnished with diced tomatoes combined with Bloody Mary mix. Ingredients Asian eggplants – 4 Soybean oil or olive oil – 1/4 cup Soy Sauce […]

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